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Short Story History and Types. A Brief History  In English Literature, the Short Story genre is a new- comer.  Unlike dramas, novels, and essays, short.

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Presentation on theme: "Short Story History and Types. A Brief History  In English Literature, the Short Story genre is a new- comer.  Unlike dramas, novels, and essays, short."— Presentation transcript:

1 Short Story History and Types

2 A Brief History  In English Literature, the Short Story genre is a new- comer.  Unlike dramas, novels, and essays, short stories developed as a genre in the19 th century.  They are concise, yet complete. They deserve to be studied as a separate genre.

3 The precursor  In American literature, folktales were the precursor to modern short stories.  One great American author was famous for this style: Washington Irving.  Do you recognize his name? What did he write?  He lived from 1783-1859

4 Edgar Allan Poe  Poe is considered the father of the short story.  He perfected the technique of writing short stories.  He wrote mostly suspense and horror short stories.  His work is considered part of the Gothic movement, and as such, many of his works feature themes of death, premature burial, and the reanimation of the dead.  Poe lived from 1809-1849.  What works of his have you read?

5 O Henry  Another famous short story writer was O Henry.  Real name: William Sydney Porter  Prolific writer: 300 short stories  His trademark is the “surprise ending”.  One of his works is “The Gift of the Magi”.  O Henry lived from 1862-1910.

6 Plot Plot is the carefully worked-out sequence of related events or actions in a story. A plot has a structure-- that is, all the individual parts of the story are arranged and interrelated in order to lead to a satisfying conclusion. The traditional plot-line The plot of a traditional story is usually developed following this sequence: Exposition (setting) ↓ Rising action (conflicts) ↓ Climax ↓ Falling action ↓ Resolution (denouement) [Modern short stories are less stereotyped, usually with no formal exposition. ]

7 Exposition  Exposition is the section in the traditional plot structure which gives the readers important background information, or setting, telling the reader information about Time (when), Place (where), and Circumstances (how)

8 Setting  A painting or a photograph is said to have a foreground and a background. The foreground is that part of the scene that is nearest to you. The background is that part of the scene that is toward the back and that forms the surroundings for the images in the foreground.  A short story, too, may be said to have a foreground and a background. The main characters and the actions, which are of greatest interest to the reader, form the foreground. The background of the story –the time and place of the events and the circumstances that surround these events--- is known as its setting.  The setting which is presented effectively tends to make us believe in fictional characters and events. Setting may do more than create an illusion of reality. It may also be a means of revealing characters to us. The environment in which a character lives may help us understand that character’s motives and behavior. 

9 Conflict  In a short story, there is generally a problem or struggle of some kind called a conflict.  The conflict is the most important element in a plot. A conflict can be external or internal.  In a story, there may be a single conflict or there may be several related conflicts.  Conflict provides drama and drives the plot.

10 Climax  Once the major conflict is established, the action of a story moves toward a climax, the point of greatest intensity.  The climax determines how the story will turn out.

11 Falling Action and Resolution  Falling action occurs after the climax and leads to the resolution.  Resolution refers to the final part of a story which makes clear the outcome of the event. Many traditional stories include such a part for the writer to give some rational explanation in order to lead the reader to an expected understanding.

12 Elements of the Short Story  Setting  Characterization  Plot  Point of View:  1 st person: told by one of the characters who refers to himself/herself as “I”  3rd person Limited: The narrator tells the story from a limited viewpoint of only one character, speaking of the character as “he” or “she”.  3 rd person Omniscient: The author acts as an all-knowing narrator who stands outside of the story. The omniscient narrator knows and can tell the reader everything, including the thoughts and feelings of every character.  Theme: the central idea of a story, poem, novel, or play, usually expressed as a general statement about life. Themes are described in one or two words: Good vs. Evil; Aging; Family Connections; Life and Death; Growing Up, etc…  Stated theme  Implied theme  Revealed through the events of a plot, and the resolution of the story’s conflict  Revealed through a character’s experiences

13 Figurative Language  Figurative Language is a tool in writing used to explain something by relating it to something else. There are several types of figurative language related to our study of short stories:  Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”  Simile: a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”  Personification: the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure.

14 Literary Devices  The following literary devices (or tools an author uses in his/her writing) are important in our study of short stories:  Dialogue: the conversation between characters in a novel, drama, etc.  Foreshadowing: hinting throughout a story of an event that will occur.  Conflict: the struggle which grows out of interplay of two opposing forces in a plot, such as:  Man/Woman against nature  Man/Woman against another person  Man/Woman against society  Man/Woman  Man/Woman against himself/herself  Irony: an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected  Flashback: a device by which a writer presents scenes or incidents that occurred prior to the opening scene of the work or the present moment.  Stream of Consciousness: style of writing consisting of the unorganized flow of the mind

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